May 16, 2018

From: Elena Goldthwaite <egoldthwaite@mlschools.org>
Subject: 5/16/18 Update from the MLBOE

Dear Parents and Community Members,

In an effort to keep you informed, the Board wanted to provide you with additional information regarding actions related to district staffing.

At our next Board of Education meeting on Monday, May 21, Dr. Mucci will present an update on the district's hiring process and timeline. Following that presentation, the members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the Board and Dr. Mucci. We will make every effort to answer all questions within the legal parameters related to employee confidentiality. Dr. Mucci will send an email reminder with any updates to the agenda after it is finalized on Friday.

Below are a couple of things the Board would like to address based on concerns we are hearing in the community.

Performance Reviews and Hiring Decisions - We would like to clarify the process for staff decisions in our school district. Our school principals are responsible for the hiring, evaluating, reassigning of staff, and retention decisions within their own buildings. The principals make recommendations on these matters to the superintendent. In matters that require a board vote, the superintendent makes a recommendation to the Board of Education through the agenda process.

Dual Superintendent/MLHS Principal Role - The Board is aware that some community members are concerned that we are asking too much of Dr. Mucci to serve in the dual role of superintendent/interim principal. In addition to what was explained in the FAQs last week (attached again for your convenience MLSDFAQ5.9.18.pdf ), we would like to provide more information. This decision was discussed at length last Monday night by the personnel committee, the full board, and Dr. Mucci. We agreed that given the current circumstances, having Dr. Mucci as interim principal rather than an outside hire has several benefits. She is a proven principal at MLHS and understands the operations, policies, and procedures of both the school and the district. Given Dr. Mucci's experience at MLHS, serving as the interim principal will provide a smoother transition for the students and create more stability for the staff. It also gives her an opportunity to be actively involved in the training and mentoring of the new administrators to ensure they understand the expectations at MLHS and in the district. Both Dr. Mucci and the Board are fully cognizant of the commitment that is being made. The Board is committed to supporting her in any way we can through the time she is an acting interim. Our Business Administrator is committed to managing the business office and being available as an extra administrator as needed, and both our Wildwood and Lake Drive principals are experienced and effective leaders. Moreover, our experienced Department Supervisors, Supervisor of Building and Grounds, along with the Directors of Guidance, Special Services, and Curriculum will provide stability in their departments and incremental support to Dr. Mucci. The Board is confident that Dr. Mucci will be successful in this temporary dual role because we work with her everyday and understand her capabilities and her dedication to the Mountain Lakes School District.

As always, we appreciate your support of the school district and welcome any questions or feedback that you may have.

We look forward to seeing you next Monday,

The Board of Education